From All That Dwell Below the Skies

Representative Text

1 From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator's praise arise;
Let the Redeemer's name be sung
Through ev'ry land by ev'ry tongue.

2 Eternal are Thy mercies Lord;
Eternal truth attends Thy Word;
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore
Till suns shall rise and set no more.

Baptist Hymnal, 2008

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: From all that dwell below the skies
Title: From All That Dwell Below the Skies
Author: Isaac Watts (1719)
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Opening Hymns

Notes

From all that dwell below the skies. I. Watts. [Psalm cxvii.] This paraphrase appeared in his Psalms of David, 1719, as follows:—
"Psalm cxvii. Long Metre. i. "From all that dwell below the Skies Let the Creator's Praise arise: Let the Redeemer's Name be sung Thro' every Land, by every Tongue, ii. “Eternal are thy Mercies, Lord; Eternal Truth attends thy Word; Thy Praise shall sound from Shore to Shore Till suns shall rise and set no more."
In this its original form this hymn is in extensive use in all English-speaking countries. It has also been translated into several languages, including Latin, by Bingham, in his Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1871:—" Magna Creatoris cunctis alturn aethera subter." 2. A second form of the hymn appeared about 1780, under the following circumstances. John Wesley, in the Preface to his Pocket Hymn-book for the Use of Christians of All Denominations, dated Nov. 15, 1786, says:—
”A few years ago I was desired by many of our preachers to prepare and publish a small Pocket Hymn-book, to be used in common in our Societies. This I promised to do, as soon as I had finished some other business, which was then on my hands. But before I could do this, a Bookseller stepped in, and without my consent or knowledge, extracted such a Hymn-book chiefly from our works, aud spread several editions of it throughout the kingdom. Two years ago I published a Pocket Hymn-book according to my promise. But most of our people were supplied already with the other Hymns. And these are largely circulated still. To cut off all pretence from the Methodists for buying them, our Brethren in the late Conference at Bristol advised me to print the same Hymn-book which had been printed at York. This I have done in the present volume; only with this difference," &c.
The hymn-book here referred to is:— A Pocket Hymn-book designed as a constant Companion for the pious, collected from Various Authors. York, R. Spence [c. 1780], 5th edition, 1786. From this hymn-book J. Wesley reprinted in his Pocket Hymn-book, 1786, Watts's “From all that dwell below the skies," with these additional lines in one stanza:—
“Your lofty themes, ye mortals, bring, In songs of praise divinely sing; The great salvation loud proclaim, And shout for joy the Saviour's name: In ev'ry land begin the song; To ev'ry land the strains belong; In cheerful sounds all voices raise, And fill the world with loudest praise."
The original, together with these lines from the York book, passed into several collections as a hymn in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. The cento in this form is in common use in Great Britain and America. 3. A third form of the text is also in common use. It appeared in the 1830 Supplement to the Wesleyan Hymn Book, No. 690. It is composed of Watts's original, four lines from the York Pocket Book text, and Bp. Ken's doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow," &c. This was omitted in the 1875 revised edition of the Wesleyan Hymn Book, in favour of Watts's original text. -- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Tune

OLD HUNDREDTH

This tune is likely the work of the composer named here, but has also been attributed to others as shown in the instances list below. According to the Handbook to the Baptist Hymnal (1992), Old 100th first appeared in the Genevan Psalter, and "the first half of the tune contains phrases which may ha…

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DUKE STREET

First published anonymously in Henry Boyd's Select Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1793), DUKE STREET was credited to John Hatton (b. Warrington, England, c. 1710; d, St. Helen's, Lancaster, England, 1793) in William Dixon's Euphonia (1805). Virtually nothing is known about Hatton, its composer,…

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LASST UNS ERFREUEN

LASST UNS ERFREUEN derives its opening line and several other melodic ideas from GENEVAN 68 (68). The tune was first published with the Easter text "Lasst uns erfreuen herzlich sehr" in the Jesuit hymnal Ausserlesene Catlwlische Geistliche Kirchengesänge (Cologne, 1623). LASST UNS ERFREUEN appeared…

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